After hearing that Christopher Nolan’s award-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister was breaking out on his own to make his directorial debut with ‘Transcendence’, many fans were highly anticipating the sci-fi thriller starring Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, and Cillian Murphy. However, when it premiered earlier this month, audiences were left a little disappointed by the script that just didn’t live up to all its potential. Without a doubt, the movie looked great, but it seems that most people were just left confused rather than entertained.
Despite its problems, ‘Transcendence’ did ask some very interesting questions that have always been staples of the science fiction genre regarding technology and its effect on the human race. If nothing else, this film certainly manages to start a conversation, especially with the surprise ending. In a recent interview with Cinemablend, Pfister explained what he was going for with the twist at the end of his film:
“By the end of the movie you’re asking this question, ‘Is this machine evil? Is this machine hell-bent on destroying the world?’ Everything he does is for her. What I want people to do is not to take a side, but to be confused as to what side they should be on – because they want to take a side. If we’re asking what I’m concluding in the film, it’s probably the conclusion is that technology can be used for good or can be used for bad, depending on whose hands it’s in.”
After listing films like ‘Soylent Green’ and ‘Terminator’ as inspiration for his first film in the director’s chair, Pfister continues by discussing the fear that could arise from the ideas and themes explored by his movie:
“If we’ve actually uploaded a real consciousness and this contains the man’s emotions, what if he’s got a couple of screws loose? What if you’re uploading the consciousness of Ted Bundy? This could be a real potential problem. [Laughing] So that’s sort of the point of this as well. We’ve uploaded a consciousness. If we are concluding that it contains the soul, the malevolence, the benevolence of this particular person, then does that guide what he’s able to do with this power?”
What do you think of Wally Pfister’s explanation of the ending of ‘Transcendence’ and some of the ideas explored throughout the film? Were you a fan of the filmmaker’s first outing as a director or do you enjoy talking about it more than watching it? Share your thoughts in the comments below.